If you see water dripping from the pressure relief valve on your water heater, it's important to figure out why the leak is happening. The problem might be a failed valve, and in that case, you'll want the valve replaced right away since the relief valve is a safety measure for the water heater.

It's also possible the valve is functioning properly and indicating there is a problem with the water heater. You may need to call a residential water heater repair service to diagnose the problem and make repairs. Here are some reasons a pressure relief valve might leak and the water heater repairs that might be needed.

Things That Cause A Pressure Relief Valve To Leak

A pressure relief valve is designed to release pressure when the pressure inside the tank gets too high. In that case, the valve might whistle, release pressure, and leak water. So, the first thing to suspect is that the temperature or pressure in the tank has gotten high enough to trigger the safety mechanism in your water heater.

If you test the relief valve occasionally and found you couldn't stop the drip after turning the valve off, there could be hard water scale built up on the valve that keeps the valve from closing and stopping the water. The valve itself might also be bad due to age, scale buildup, or corrosion.

Things A Plumber Might Do To Help

Your plumber will probably test the water pressure, temperature, and valve to find the reason for the leak. Water pressure rises when temperature rises, so if something is wrong with the thermostat or other heating parts, the plumber may need to make adjustments or repairs to keep the water temperature at the right level.

If the pressure in the tank is too high, the plumber might recommend installing an expansion tank, and if your water heater already has one, the plumber can check the tank to make sure it's operating properly.

Sometimes the water pressure in your plumbing can be too high and affect the water heater. The plumber can test the pressure of your water with a gauge. If the pressure is too high, the plumber may install, adjust, or change the water pressure regulator valve on your main plumbing line.

If the plumber determines the problem is with the pressure relief valve on your water heater, they can replace the valve. This entails draining some water out of the tank, removing the old valve, installing the new valve, and then testing the valve to make sure it functions properly and will act as a safety mechanism for the water heater.

For more information about residential water heater repair, contact a local plumber.